Apply for LLC in Ohio

Find out how to apply for an LLC in Ohio for free with this step-by-step guide.

Looking to apply for an LLC in Ohio? In this completely free guide we'll show you exactly how you can apply for your LLC in Ohio to make sure your new company is formed properly.

Starting an LLC in Ohio is Easy

Most states have made it pretty straightforward to actually apply for an LLC, and we'll show you all of the steps you need to cover in this guide.

If this is your first time applying for an LLC in Ohio then we recommend that you read through the whole guide because it will make your application process much less painful if you understand all of the necessary steps.

Why Should You Apply for an LLC in Ohio?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a very common and popular business structure. It's very useful for you because it offers you liability protection in case of a lawsuit (hence the name limited liability).

What that means is that if your company were to get sued, your personal assets like your home, any vehicles, and your personal bank account would be protected.

You can also use your Ohio LLC to purchase assets like real estate, and keep it separated from your personal assets.

If you are serious about your business venture then applying for an LLC in Ohio is a relatively cheap way to protect yourself personally.

Ready to apply for an LLC in Ohio? Let's get to the guide.

1. Ohio LLC Name

Okay, so the very first step you should always before you apply for an LLC is to check and make sure the business entity name you'd like to use is available for use in your state.

The name of your Ohio LLC needs to be unique and distinguishable from other businesses that have already been registered in the state.

To perform a business name search in Ohio you can use the Ohio Secretary of State: Business Name Search page.

If there are companies that you think might be too similar in name to your chosen name in the state database, it's good practice to actually call them to confirm.


Your chosen LLC name needs to have a designator at the end of it. To keep it simple and to comply with Ohio law, we suggest that you pick one of the following:

  • LLC or L.L.C. (LLC is the most common as it is easier to type!)
  • LC or L.C.
  • Limited Liability Company

Important note: your Ohio LLC name CANNOT include a designator that makes it appear to be a different type of business entity. This means you cannot use Inc, Incorporated, LP, LLP, or anything misleading in your name.

To find out more about the designator rules in Ohio, see the form 1705.05.

2. Ohio Registered Agent

The Ohio Secretary of State requires all LLC Certificate of Formation filings to have a Registered Agent listed on the form.

A Registered Agent in Ohio is a company or person that you choose (and they agree) to receive all notices, mail, and court documents in the event that your LLC is sued or involved in a court case.

You can do this yourself but if you do so, your address will be publicly listed as the Registered Agent for your company. As you can imagine, that's not very private and can lead to issues.

Generally speaking, we recommend that you use a Registered Agent service. This keeps your personal details private and adds that separation between business and personal communications.

If you choose to apply for an LLC in Ohio by using an LLC formation service like ZenBusiness, IncFile, or Northwest Registered Agent, they will provide you with one year of registered agent service for free.

3. Ohio LLC Certificate of Formation

Ohio LLC Fees

  • LLC filing fee: $99

Filing Methods

You can apply for an LLC in Ohio by mail.

File Your LLC by Mail

To file by mail you need to fill out the form 533A and mail it to the Ohio Secretary of State.

Ohio LLC Operating Agreement

When you apply for an LLC in Ohio, an Operating Agreement is a written contract that is used to explain who owns the LLC and how much of it they own.

This is important because it sets out how the LLC is managed, how profits are split, taxes paid, and so on, to avoid disputes with the LLC Members.

You will need an Operating Agreement when applying for an LLC in Ohio for both Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs.

Apply for an EIN for Your Ohio LLC

Once you have applied for your LLC and been approved, you can then apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

Also known as an FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number, your Ohio LLC's EIN number is used to identify your LLC to the IRS for tax and filing purposes.

When you open an LLC bank account, you'll need your EIN number to get the account approved.

To apply for an EIN in Ohio you can either apply online here, or file form S3-4 with the IRS by post.

Ohio Annual Report

There is no requirement in Ohio to file an annual report.

Ohio State Agencies

Ohio Department of Taxation

Phone: 888-405-4039

Hours: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday


Ohio Secretary of State (Division of Business Filings)

Phone: 614-466-3910 (option 1)

Hours: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday


Conclusion: How to Apply for an LLC in Ohio

Hopefully this guide has given you all of the relevant information you need to go out and apply to form an LLC in Ohio. If you notice anything missing from this guide, please do get in touch and let us know so that we can continue to improve and offer you the best free guide to applying for an LLC in Ohio.